Although it might seem natural that Jesus' beliefs about God should shape Christian theology, this has often not been the case. Jesus' beliefs about God, including such aspects as omnipotence and personality, were largely shaped by contemporary Judaism. His view of God's character--exercising impartiality and mercy in this world, but at times retribution in the next--was often distinctive, though not always. The questions about the divine nature that had exercised earlier philosophers and theologians and would continue to puzzle later ones were not his concern, and later discoveries and theories about the nature of the cosmos, still often so mysterious to us, were naturally not part of his thought-world. Similarly, the role that later theologians found for him within the divine Trinity was also alien to him. On the other hand, alternative attempts to argue about the existence and the nature of God on the basis of cosmology or human "religious experience" have led to no conclusive results. The man Jesus himself, however, offered moral teaching and a way of life that he believed, rightly or wrongly, reflected the nature and will of his God, and this is his lasting contribution, regardless of whatever divine reality does or does not lie behind it. "Christian believers may take it for granted that their God is also the God of Jesus. Professor Wedderburn shows that the issue is more complicated, as is the whole problem of God. Helpfully transcending the usual atheist/believer dichotomy, he asks intriguing questions, guiding readers to paths which they may follow in trying to find their own answers." --Heikki Raisanen, Professor emeritus of New Testament Studies, University of Helsinki, Finland "Sandy Wedderburn's gospel might be less full than some more orthodox among us would want to allow, yet in this essay a number of things receive the healthy emphasis that such 'partiality' affords. . . . Sandy Wedderburn, as ever, asks the right questions, challenges some over-hasty conclusions, and invites us to take seriously the life and teaching of that great, mysterious figure, Jesus of Nazareth." --Mark W. Elliott, Head of the School of Divinity and Reader in Church History, School of Divinity, University of St. Andrews, Scotland "Sandy Wedderburn, retired from his Professorship in Munich, has been well known for his deep knowledge of the NT and his keenness to penetrate behind long familiar faith formulae and affirmations to make best sense of them. The same honest integrity is clearly expressed in his attempt to understand better what Jesus taught about God, its relation to traditional Christian beliefs about God, and its enduring significance. The result is both refreshing and challenging." --James D. G. Dunn, Lightfoot Professor emeritus of Divinity, University of Durham, England Alexander Wedderburn is retired Professor of New Testament at the University of Munich and the author of Baptism and Resurrection (1987), The Reasons for Romans (1988), Beyond Resurrection (1999), A History of the First Christians (2004), Jesus and the Historians (2010), and The Death of Jesus (2013).